Here we go again. Another year, another top Ten list that I’ve left till tragically late to finish writing. It doesn’t help that so much good stuff ended up coming out so late in the year. But tradition is tradition and here I am, spending the last ten days of the year talking about my ten favourite video games of 2021.
This list is one of my top ten favourite games that come out in in the year 2021. In the past I’ve been a little loose with the rules and kind of slipped DLCs and expansions into the mix. But with the real rise of service games now, I felt like I finally had to break away and create a list of my older favourite games too. Which you can check out by clicking this link here.
So let’s get into number nine on my list:
#9: Moonglow Bay
Played on Xbox One X | Released 26th October | Developed by Bunnyhug
Yet another entry and yet another game I feel like finds its way onto this list with a bunch of if and buts surrounding it. Maybe it’s a sign of my increasingly maturity as a video game writer. Or maybe it’s just a sign that 2021 might not have been the absolute strongest year for video games.
You could blame COVID, you could blame the fact that I missed a good number of titles that probably will end up on a significant number of other people’s top ten lists. But I can only talk about the games I did play, and this is what we got.
This game, from the tiny Canadian Studio, is one that had me utterly charmed right from the moment I started playing it. Players take control of a Widow(er) who tries to piece their life back together after the loss of their partner and the decline of the little town of Moonglow Bay that happened shortly after their death.
You do this primarily by going out, chugging around the bay in your little boat and catching a whole mess of weird and wonderful fish only found in the super habitat of a Canadian town. Then you cook them all in a series of repetitive, but satisfying mini games to create a whole menu of seafood dishes and sell them back to the town full of people.
Using that money to reinvest into the town, the player starts forging connections with the people of the little town and slowly but surely everything starts to come to life again. Except your partner, they stay dead.
Was that mean?
This is a very wholesome and chilled out experience of a game. The back and forth between exploring new areas and catching the fish that inhabit them all then doing different combinations of the six different mini games that make up all cooking mechanics ended up being a super relaxing experience for me. Something for me to switch off to and unwind between shifts at work.
A style of game I found myself really valuing in 2021 for some reason.
In my review of the game I wrote in Early November, I did however go into some depth about the pretty large number of bugs and visual glitches that pervaded most aspects of this game. But I feel like it should be some testament in the game’s favour that, despite the issues that existed throughout the whole experience, I stuck with it and continued to put time into it despite the problems.
While I would recommend this game to anyone who wants a Stardew Vally/Spiritfarer, type experience where they can just switch off and allow themselves to be washed over by this nice, calming and welcoming story. At the same time I could very easily see why it wouldn’t hit anyone I the same way it hit me.
I honestly do think this is one of those games that just managed to fall into my lap at the perfect time. It was the exact thing I happened to need at the exact time I found it. And Honestly, I’d be pretty surprised if I ever found myself going back to it.
But I really liked Moonglow Bay. Despite its flaws.